9:00 a.m. April 28
Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala said Tuesday that the number of people killed in the April 25 earthquake exceeds 5,000 and could amount to 10,000 or more as recovery efforts continue, Al Jazeera reports. Roughly 8 million people in Nepal—about a quarter of the country’s entire population—have been affected.
The cost to rebuild Nepal could exceed $10 billion and take several years, Nepal’s Finance Minister Ram Mahat told Bloomberg.
4:35 p.m. April 27
Mountain villages in Nepal stricken by the quake are struggling in the aftermath and haven't received aid or food, the New York Times reports.
"Whatever relief each of us felt at being off the mountain was quickly replaced with sadness and awe at the destructive power on evidence all around us." RMI guide Dave Hahn, who has summited Everest 15 times, and his team were rescued from Camp 1 by helicopter on the morning of April 27 and brought down to Base Camp. Hahn recounted the day's events in a post on RMI's website.
2:50 p.m. April 27
Numerous reports say the death toll in Nepal has surpassed 4,000 and is expected to continue rising significantly as recovery efforts continue.
The United Nations said Monday that it is pledging $15 million from its emergency response fund to provide water, shelter, and medical supplies to earthquake survivors in Nepal. An estimated 8 million people have been affected, UN spokesman Farhan Haq said Monday.
UNESCO says in the coming days it will assess the damage to World Heritage Sites, which have been hit hard in Nepal, especially those in Kathmandu Valley. "In particular, Durbar Squares of Patan, Hanuman Dhoka (Kathmandu) and Bhaktapur are almost fully destroyed," according to an April 27 UNESCO statement.
1:38 p.m. April 27
Sec. of State John Kerry announced that the U.S. will provide $9 million in aid to the Nepal relief efforts—in addition to $1 million previously pledged by the government. "Tragedies of this magnitude really underscore that in today's world next-door is really everywhere," Kerry said on Monday.
12:05 p.m. April 27
The BBC has posted drone footage of the destruction in Kathmandu:
Famed mountain runner Kilian Jornet has announced that he is "modifying" his plans to attempt a record ascent and descent on Everest this year, but it's unclear whether he has decided to cancel them. For now, he will travel to Kathmandu to help with relief efforts:
Google employee Dan Fredinburg died during the avalanche while on assignment to bring the mountain to Street View. Two of his friends remember him as a warm-hearted adventurist.
11:22 p.m. April 26
DigitalGlobe has opened access to satellite data of Nepal. It’s launching a crowdsourcing campaign to catalog the earthquake’s destruction.
10:45 p.m. April 26
Outfitters are reporting that those trapped in Camps I and II are now being evacuated by helicopters to Base Camp.
Stranded climbers evacuation from camp1&2 continues. 3 helis fly non stop. Only 2 people per shuttle due to high altitude. Weather good.— Alex Gavan (@AlexGAVAN) April 27, 2015
We are very pleased to confirm that all climbers and climbing sherpa have been evacuated by helicopter from Camps One...Posted by Adventure Consultants on Sunday, April 26, 2015
7:55 p.m. April 26
National Geographic has a comprehensive first-hand account of the devestation on the mountain.
“Everything was trauma,” said Ben Ayers, an American living in Nepal who is executive director of the Dzi Foundation and happened to be in Lukla at the time of the earthquake. “There were lots of broken bones, broken backs, broken pelvises…” Four patients appeared to have died en route to Kathmandu, Ayers said.
“A couple were dead when we took them out of the helicopter,” he said, noting that the remains of victims who perished at Base Camp had been collected in Pheriche and not prioritized for further transport while so many others remained in critical need.
6:30 p.m. April 26
Outside senior editor Grayson Schaffer has filed his latest report.
In the coming days, the weather is expected to start clear enough to allow aviation in the mornings and deteriorate into snowfall by the afternoon. EverestWeather.com forecaster Michael Fagin continues to predict up to ten inches of snow on Tuesday, though some models call for up to 20 inches. The ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation has already indicated that the Everest climbing season is finished. This year, that decision will spark little controversy.
2:28 p.m. April 26
The first authentic video footage from Base Camp has emerged.
11:35 a.m. April 26
ICYMI: Shocking account from Base Camp.
The areas of the middle of Base Camp that I mentioned that got dusted were actually COMPLETELY DESTROYED. 40-50% of Base Camp is gone.
9:27 a.m. April 26
A number of videos and photos of the avalanche are circulating on Twitter and Instagram, but the Wall Street Journal has some of the first verified examples we’ve seen.
AFP photographer Roberto Schmidt, at base camp on Everest when the quake struck, has sent back his first pictures pic.twitter.com/4aQSaVqyRH— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) April 26, 2015
8:32 a.m. April 26
Our sources on the mountain report that a few flights were able to make it into Camp I and Camp II. Some climbers tried to reach Base Camp through the icefall but retreated to Camp I following the powerful aftershock.
5:00 a.m. April 26
The Guardian is reporting that an aftershock shook the valley almost as strongly as Saturday's initial quake.
Some 100 climbers are trapped at higher camps on the mountain, according to the Nepal Mountaineering Association. The latest earthquake—measured at 6.7 on the Richter scale—came as climbers at camps one and two were apparently trying to find a new route back through the Khumbu icefall, which is blocking their descent to the devastated base camp where at least 17 climbers died on Saturday and 61 more were injured.
Aftershock @ 1pm! Horrible here in camp 1. Avalanches on 3 sides. C1 a tiny island. We worry about icefall team below.. Alive?— Daniel Mazur (@danielmazur) April 26, 2015
New avalanche just came our way from Pumori. Luckily just powder but this is scary. Hoping for camp 1and 2 safety pic.twitter.com/kVReY3M5lf— Jelle Veyt (@cycling2himalay) April 26, 2015
8:01 p.m. April 25
According to TIME and Outside sources in Nepal, helicopters have evacacuted the critically injured from Base Camp.
Twenty-two of the most seriously injured had already been taken by helicopter for treatment in the village of Pheriche, the location of the nearest medical facility. But bad weather and communications were hampering more helicopter flights, said Ang Tshering of the Nepal Mountaineering Association.
Original News Post
At around 11:56 a.m. local time, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal, leveling many of the country’s poorly constructed brick and stone buildings. The quake was centered about 50 miles northeast of the capital of Kathmandu, where thousands are presumed dead.
The Khumbu Region, home to Mount Everest and the Sherpa villages, were not spared from the devastation. Sherpas working on Everest’s north side were able to contact their families in the village of Phortse, where several houses were reported collapsed, some with people inside.
In Everest Base Camp, on the south side of the mountain, a massive ice avalanche coming off of Pumori (23,494 feet), which faces Everest, sent ice and other debri through tents, killing and injuring climbers. According to reports from the mountain, at least 15 people are in critical condition. Meanwhile the BBC is reporting that at least eight people in Base Camp have died. Climbers who were on the route or in Camps I and II have checked in reporting that they are safe but stranded. The route through the Khumbu Icefall has been destroyed and no helicopter flights were able to make the trip up the valley after the quake due to weather.
While doctors have been too busy caring for the injured to report in, radio traffic tells a story of a desperate situation. The Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA) camp was badly damaged in the avalanche. Doctors and paramedics are currently using the International Mountain Guides camp as their base of operations. The Himalayan Experience camp is being used to house uninjured climbers who’ve lost their camps.
When the sun comes up in Nepal in a few hours, it’s likely to rise on a scene of devastation not seen since the Haiti earthquake of 2008. Construction in Nepal is prone to collapse. In 1988, a magnitude 6.8 quake centered along the India-Nepal border killed roughly 1,500 people and injured more than 16,000.
Given the scale of the devastation, it’s hard to see how Everest’s climbing season can possibly continue. This would be the second year without a season following the deadly avalanche that killed 16 local workers on April 18, 2014.
Check back here for more coverage as the story develops.
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